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What Sunderland duo have previously said about their futures amid Ipswich and West Ham transfer links



What Dan Ballard and Pierre Ekwah have previously said about their Sunderland futures following Ipswich Town links.

The summer transfer window isn’t set to reopen until next month – yet rumours are already starting to circle as clubs prepare for the 2024/25 season.

While Sunderland will be looking to strengthen ahead of the new campaign, they may also have to fend off interest in some of their key players. This week, it was reported that Ipswich are looking at Black Cats duo Dan Ballard and Pierre Ekwah, who made 43 and 40 Championship appearances respectively this season.


Sunderland aren’t in a position where they have to sell their best players, while most of their squad have agreed long-term contracts at the club over the last year. Following reported interest from West Ham, Ballard signed a new contract on Wearside last August, while Ekwah agreed a deal until 2027 when he arrived from West Ham.


The pair have also talked about how they feel Sunderland is the best place for them to progress their careers. After signing a new deal last year, Ballard told the Echo: “I think for my pathway going forward I’ve got a good relationship with the manager (former head coach Tony Mowbray) and with the club.


“I feel like I’m a big part of this team and sometimes you can’t guarantee that anywhere else. I’m really happy and comfortable here and feel like it’s the best place to play my football.”


After reported interest from Premier League clubs Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, Ekwah was asked back in February if he felt Sunderland was still the best place for his development. “Oh yeah, 100 per cent. Like I said the last time we spoke, I’m definitely happy here,” he replied.

“For my development as a person and as a footballer it’s the perfect place. I’m really enjoying myself and you can see it out there that a lot of people are enjoying themselves, that’s for sure.”




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